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Don’t Miss: Paul Rudd at MCC

June 29th, 2016 Comments off
Paul Rudd (Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Paul Rudd (Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com via The Broadway Blog.)

MCC Theater has confirmed that its previously announced benefit reading of a new Neil LaBute play, Reasons to be Pretty Happy, will be led by star of stage and screen—and frequent LaBute collaborator—Paul Rudd, who previously worked with LaBute on the critically acclaimed play, The Shape of Things in both New York and London as well as the film adaptation.  He also starred on stage in LaBute’s bash – in New York and Los Angeles.

The one-night-only world premiere developmental reading is now set for Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 7:30PM at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, and will benefit the nonprofit’s robust education and playwright development programs.  (This replaces the previously announced date of Monday, June 20, 2016.)  Additional casting will be announced at a later date.  For more info, visit www.mcctheater.org.

Tickets are currently on sale for the benefit reading. Prices range from $100 for show-only tickets or $250/$350 for preferred/premium seating plus access to a special post-show reception with LaBute, the cast, and MCC leadership. For tickets, visit www.mcctheater.org or call (212) 352-3101.

Neil LaBute (Photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Neil LaBute (Photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com via The Broadway Blog.)

MCC’s Playwright-in-Residence since 2005, Neil LaBute premiered the first two plays in his ‘Reasons’ trilogy, Reasons to be Pretty and Reasons to be Happy, with the company in 2008 and 2013, respectively.  The former transferred to Broadway and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. MCC’s reading of Reasons to be Pretty Happy marks the first of two LaBute plays the company will premiere this year. It was recently announced that his newest completed work, All The Ways To Say I Love You, will kick off MCC’s upcoming 30th Anniversary Season on September 6 in a production starring multi-Tony and Emmy Award winner Judith Light in a solo performance directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman.

“As a leading voice in contemporary theater who has premiered 10 full length plays and a number of other short works under our auspices, Neil LaBute exemplifies the strong and enduring relationships that MCC fosters with artists,” said Co-Artistic Director Robert LuPone, speaking on behalf of the company’s artistic leadership. “Our work together over the years and on the ‘Reasons’ trilogy in particular has been incredibly exciting and rewarding. We are so proud to present his new work at this point in its life in a reading that advances our long and fruitful history of collaboration with this important and singular artist.”

“I’m pleased to have the world premiere reading of my latest play at MCC, a place that has supported my work for nearly fifteen years,” said Neil LaBute. “Having led master classes for students in the Theater’s Youth Company, I’m so proud this reading will support MCC’s vital work nurturing the next generation of theater talent through its education and playwright development programs.”

Set on the night of their 20th anniversary high school reunion, Reasons to be Pretty Happy follows Greg and Steph as they revisit their home town after having moved to New York. Kent and Carly are suspicious of their reasons for returning and the four friends dance (sometimes literally) through a series of encounters at their school gym as they try to rekindle old friendships, struggle with their futures (together and separately) and reveal secrets to one another that might have been better left buried beneath a pile of yearbooks.  The play is a funny, sad, silly and sobering look at friendships and loves that have weathered and lasted for a long, long time—some even past their due dates.

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “Grace”

October 15th, 2012 Comments off

Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Paul Rudd & Ed Asner in "Grace". Photo by Joan Marcus.

GRACE

In a suspenseful new play by Craig Wright and starring an award-winning cast, a religious couple is forced to reexamine their beliefs when they encounter their cynical, damaged neighbor.

“But if Grace is remembered in years to come…it will most likely be as the production that brought Mr. Shannon’s electrically anxious acting to Broadway.” New York Times

“Ultimately Grace turns out to have a simple, affecting point: It’s about the stories we tell ourselves to make it through life.” New York Post

“A dream cast (Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington and Ed Asner) brings so much humanity to these oddball characters…that even an atheist would send up a prayer that these lost souls will find their faith.” Variety

“…one of those glibly funny but flawed dramas about faith in 21st-century America in which the evangelical Christians are hypocrites, or worse.” Entertainment Weekly

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TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: 2012 Fall Preview, The Plays

September 12th, 2012 Comments off

Steppenwolf's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Photo by Michael Brosilow.

If the fall season’s crop of musicals is a sparse and eccentrically planted lot, the roster of plays is lush with big ideas, big stars and must-see events (if a few too many “didn’t we just see that” revivals). So let’s dig into the harvest feast…

"Grace". Image via O+M Co.

An Enemy of the People (September 27): Henrik Ibsen’s sturdy study of personal pressure and politics kicks things off just in time for election season. Class acts Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas play brothers, a mayor and a doctor, on opposite sides of an environmental disaster in the making. (Yeah, this was written when?)

Grace (October 4): As I’ve said before…Paul Rudd. I lerve him. Toss in the always magnetic Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and my interest is more than peaked for this surreal comedy-drama about a couple’s plans for religious-themed motels and their less than faithful neighbor.

Running on Empty (October 9): Comedian and professional ranter Lewis Black brings his stand-up to Broadway for a week of performances.

Cyrano de Bergerac (October 11): The French war horse (no, not that one) gets trotted out for another display of witty banter, actorly showmanship and much-needed rhinoplasty. Tony-winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles) takes on the title role in a Roundabout Theatre revival.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (October 13): The revelatory Steppenwolf production starring playwright (and seriously accomplished actor) Tracy Letts and the incomparable Amy Morton finally makes it to Broadway. Check my review from when I saw it at Arena Stage last year and tell me you aren’t a wee bit excited to see the Albee classic again.

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I Love Paul Rudd & More Theater News

June 8th, 2012 Comments off

Paul Rudd Makes the World Go Round on "Sesame Street". Image via YouTube.

Today’s theater news round-up is about Paul Rudd…and some other not as important theater people.

  • My imaginary boyfriend Paul Rudd (Broadway’s Last Night at Ballyhoo and Three Days of Rain) will be returning to the Great White Way this September in Grace, a new play described by producers as an “this enthralling Broadway premiere that asks: are we in control of our lives or is there something else at work?” It will also star Oscar-nominee Michael Shannon and Emmy-winner Ed Asner. But the important thing is Paul Rudd, whom I fell in love with when he played my favorite love object in world literature Mr. Knightley  (only translated from Jane Austen to Beverly Hills) in Clueless. Let’s relive that moment…

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